By Anthony Grinblat

While the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, estimates that nearly half of all Americans experience trauma at some point in their lives, only 7 to 8 percent of the population will have PTSD. While combat veterans are perhaps the most well-known segment of the population that experiences PTSD, the disorder can also occur when an individual survives a disaster, car accident, physical or sexual assault, or even witnesses a family member or loved one experience danger, harm, or death.

Military veterans, especially those who served in combat situations, are much more likely than the general population to suffer from PTSD. Estimates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs suggest that between 11 to 20 percent of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD in a given year, while approximately 12% of Gulf War veterans experience PTSD in a given year. Studies of Vietnam veterans suggest that approximately 30% of these veterans have experienced PTSD in their lifetime.

The symptoms of PTSD can be incredibly debilitating when leading a full and healthy life, although they can vary depending on the person affected. Symptoms include reliving the trauma during waking hours (accompanied by a physical affect like sweating or a pounding heart), experiencing vivid nightmares, and having trouble sleeping. Some PTSD sufferers are constantly tense and on edge, while others become e­motionally numb and lose interest in the hobbies and passions that once gave them great pleasure.

Living with PTSD is not easy, but treatment options are available—and as a complement to traditional methods of treatment such as cognitive and exposure therapy, spending time in a float tank can provide immense relief from the symptoms of PTSD.

First and foremost, floating has a proven track record of reducing stress and anxiety. Especially for PTSD sufferers who experience ongoing anxiety and tenseness, an hour or two of complete quiet and calmness in a float tank can be an incredible relief.

Float tanks are actually “Sensory Deprivation Tanks.” Their main purpose is to eliminate all visual and audio stimulation of the outside world. By depriving the brain of the two strongest senses, sight and sound, it allows the brain the time it needs to naturally heal itself. The soothing environment of floating in 95˚F (35˚C) water for a minimum of 60 minutes creates a comforting condition not experienced since the day before you were born. Floating in a sensory deprivation tank is the closest we can come to returning to the womb.

Floating has many physical benefits too. Floating weightlessly allows your joints and muscles to completely decompress and alleviate the pains associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia and a slew of other pain-causing issues.

There is no one cure for PTSD, however, continuously maintaining a healthy lifestyle can lead to the resolution of various forms of stress, anxiety and physical disorders. The recommendation is to float at least once per week, twice for those who are serious. Visit: for more information.


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